Is self-pleasure always wrong?

Nickname/Alias: Jessica

Subject: Is masturbation wrong?

Message: Hi, I’m wondering if masturbation is wrong if I’m not watching any porn along with it or having any thoughts about anyone (no other man or woman). Solely focusing on the pleasure and sensations I’m having. Is this wrong according to the Bible? If so, where in the Bible? Thanks!

Hi. Thanks very much for your open and honest question. It’s a good question. 

I believe that masturbation can (and usually does) have more of an effect that simply a sexual/physical release. Although you may not be watching porn or thinking of anyone while engaging in it at this time, eventually that may not be possible as masturbation awakens a sexual response and, often, you need more and more stimulation to get the same effect. 

I don’t know that the Bible says “thou shall not masturbate.” You know what I mean? But, the Bible speaks about ones actions and behavior. I will answer your question from the direction you presented- that you would not engage in masturbation while thinking of someone else or with porn, which are both lustful actions and warned against.

So let’s consider it like this. The sexual experience was created for two people--husband and wife (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 7:3). If the sexual experience is supposed to be a shared activity to bring pleasure, give pleasure and connect a married couple, then masturbation provides the ability for one to connect with self and become accustomed to one’s own sexual doing. One of the problems with this is that the person who engages in masturbation becomes accustomed to their own expressions and rhythms, putting herself and her future spouse in a challenging position to undo what has been established. It can be very hard for you to enjoy the sexual expressions of someone else when you have for so long trained your body to respond to self-pleasure. You can become impatient with your spouse or think your spouse doesn’t know to “please” you. 

I hope this helps answer your questions and leads you to a prayerful decision on such an important subject. You can also chat one on one with a mentor via G2G chat. 

Erica Jones